reflection wrote:As long as one still has a sense of "I exist", in a way one is on the path to stream entry every time one is practicing. It is understanding anatta that is important, not so much how the process will be like. Because understanding anatta, getting rid of the first fetter of self view, is a big part of what is called stream entering; this I see as one of the most important ways the suttas explain it.
I cannot help, but to agree.
It is interesting how difficult anatta view is explained for those entangled in it. I cannot fully explain it, but "no self" is certainly a continual insight that keeps dawning for me in very subtle and small ways. As laity, I can express gratitude in my path as I can see it everyday at work. To and fro this whirl of activity is going, but absent is the goer. Even that is too vague to explain it. I view it with a bit of humor of my mistaken attitude for who knows how long that there was something ever there.
I've at least come to understand that what sustains "the activity" ("me") comes causes and conditions, primarily desire: survival, belongings, and settling in; all in which run contrary to the main stream of not self, suffering, and impermanence. The "not self" portion, being only on the path to stream entry (or that is my aspiration at the very least) emerges in subtle forms and the truth is always there, but distractions, entanglements, etc. are abundant (which are only as subtle or harsh as right view and right concentration are present/developed).
I've also noticed a detached attitude towards strategy / tradition in how all of this is attained and developed. What matters more is walking the path. If I fret if I am practicing "right", I am doing it wrong, yet if I settle in my practice its easier. Letting go is the practice and in that is letting go of your practice. lol.
I apologize for my rambling. The activity is short of community as of right now
Sharing and exchanging knowledge has always been of value to me. "Learning, learning, learning."